Thursday, 1 September 2011

Happy Birthday Courtesy Of The Taxpayer

Earlier today I drove past Perth prison and was reminded of this.

Am I alone in thinking our prison system is making a mockery of those who are the victims of people convicted of crime?

I do believe there are many people within the prison system who should not be there because they have problems, for which we as a society are responsible and we ought to ensure they receive appropriate treatment or support, but Perth prison is one of Scotland's 'heavy duty' goals, although it now also houses male prisoners serving sentences under 4 years.

But is a prison an environment in which the prison service - a taxpayer funded security service - should encourage birthday parties involving young children? If the Express reporting is to be believed (and I've no good reason to doubt it), then birthday parties take place in private visiting rooms - complete with cake, balloons, presents and songs.

Perth prison is not the only prison in Scotland to provide for such events. The CEO of the Scottish Prison Service:

'All prisons have taken steps to entertain children who are visiting their parents behind bars include toys, books, TVs, game consoles and soft play areas.'

He also revealed that Perth, Polmont and Kilmarnock prisons have party facilities while others can host events in family bonding rooms.

This is one of the times I think my knowledge of social science is severely wanting. Hard working people pay for this while the victims of crime are left isolated. Are birthday parties in prison environments educational?

Never mind though - it's all for the sake of the children. Aye.


Joe Public said...

".... birthday parties take place in private visiting rooms - complete with cake ..."

In the best traditions of Blue Peter, here's
one made earlier!

WitteringsfromWitney said...

A few points, SR:

The use of 'children' is but another ploy into the conditioning of people to accept this largesse of the public purse.....

I would contend that is not the fault of society that some people have problems - but that of the politicians and the results of their attempts at social engineering - perhaps they should be made to pay for their mistakes - and not just in this particular area!

No doubt underlying this policy is human rights - which is something else which has a lot to answer for!

Nice post, as ever, by the way.....

Just saying.........

Richard said...

Totally wrong, They are trying to make prison less frightening so that it doesn't upset the kiddies. In my view, any child visiting a parent in prison ought to come away terrified.

And vowing never to be in that position themselves. As it is, well, prison is that nice place where you get free cake.

Great post.

J. R. Tomlin said...

I don't quite understand.

The children of prisoners should be punished... why?

You are saying that preserving the links of the prisoners to their families, especially their children, is a bad thing? They are less likely to re-offend if they are no longer part of a functioning family and have no emotional connection to their children?

I think that premise will require a little thought.

Observer said...

Err I thought this would be a good thing. Maintaining the link between prisoners & their young children is surely an incentive for them to behave when they get out?

The wee yins won't want daddy to go back to jail, they will want their birthday parties at home.

I don't think the costs of a few balloons & a party cake (assuming the prison pays for it which isn't actually indicated) is not much if it stops the prisoner re-offending.

Joe Public said...

@ Observer 22:50

"Maintaining the link between prisoners & their young children is surely an incentive for them to behave when they get out?"

1. If paternal cons wanted continued close contact with their kids, why would they offend in the first place?

2. If the taxpayer finances resources for kids to have parties with pop at prisons, what incentive is there for prisoners to not re-offend?

JRB said...

C’mon, please, give the poor prisoners a break.
They’ve had to give up their plasma telly viewing to go and chat to the misses. Surely their not expected to have to entertain the wains as well, that’s for the authorities to do.

After all it’s a prisoners human rights that they are treated to - three square meals a day; the occasional McDonalds; a comfortable air conditioned and centrally heated cell; a plasma telly; blue ray dvd player and if there’s nothing worth watching on the box then they are entitled to the latest games consol to help them while away the hours.

Surely you don’t want to go back to the dark ages when prison was a punishment, or even worse – treat them like pensioners – no plasma telly; no games consol; no heating (central or otherwise); only one meal a day – and if they are very lucky someone might call in once a week to see that they’re still alive.

No, you’re not allowed to treat criminals like that, such treatment is only reserved for old people – like me.

Dramfineday said...

I'll leave it to Wullie Shakespear (whoever he was)

"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;

john.boettcher said...

I don't think The Express is an accurate source of any news, as this site demonstrates time and time again...

Funny site. The Mail stuff and Dirty "Dick" Desmond's other paper are thoroughly ridiculed.

subrosa said...

Joe, in the past some of my sponges could have smashed steel doors I'm sure. As for my pancakes...

subrosa said...

The likes of Perth prison isn't an appropriate place for children to have a birthday party WfW and yes, once again, children are being used instead of nurtured.

Lovely compliment, I'm blushing. :)

subrosa said...

Well said Richard. I concur.

subrosa said...

I don't think prison is a place where young children should be Jeanne.

There are many other ways in which a prisoner could keep in touch with their children other than the wee ones being dragged along to such a place.

I never said prisoners should not have emotional connection to their children.

subrosa said...

In a perfect world yes Observer but we all know that doesn't happen and the experience for a bairn visiting such a place can be scary - party or no party.

subrosa said...

Have you been speaking to a retired prison officer friend of mine JRB?

subrosa said...

Dram, taking bairns to prisons is not merciful. Protecting them from such places is.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX J. R. Tomlin said...

I don't quite understand.

The children of prisoners should be punished... why? XX

Because prisons are meant to be a deterent. How better to do that than scare the shit out of the little bastards before they get the chance to experience it in their own right.

subrosa said...

Like all of the MSM you have to check out details JohnB. I didn't check this out because I know it to be true. A retired prison officer friend told me last year - or maybe the year before - about such events in Perth prison.

A prison isn't an appropriate place for young children.

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